Photo: Jessica Kovalcin
On Saturday the Knights hosted the Connecticut Oilers in game one of two on the weekend. With positioning in the South Conference on the line, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton didn’t misstep in their second contest of the new year.
With Jared Stahel in net once more, the Knights were bolstered early by the Texas netminder’s steady play in the crease. 11 first-period saves allowed the Knights forecheck to mount 11 of their own chances on goal, with Alex Morawski notching the lone tally of the opening frame at 7:35. On a power play, the Florida-native buried his ninth goal of the year off helpers from Tyler Nielsen and William Case.
Mick Heneghan kept the the offense rolling in the first five minutes of the second period. The Knights defenseman potted his first tally with the EHL team when Denys Arkhypenko found him off a solid sequence initiated by Austin Weber.
Connecticut would finally answer when a power play opportunity arose from the Knights lone penalty of the second period. At 14:29 Tim Lopez fed Fabian Zuccarello who in turn found Val Sverdlov to cut the deficit in half.
Holding strong into the third, the Knights put the game to bed with three more goals, two coming in the period’s first four minutes. Cody Rumsey and Tyler Nielsen combined to set up Tyler Watungwa for his third goal of his Knights career at 1:32. The Ottawa native now has an active five-game point streak, and has scored in all but one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Austin Weber followed suit just two minutes later when he bested Connecticut goalie Olof Djurberg for the Knights 4-1 lead (Heneghan, Jake Fuss). Following a scoreless stretch of over 15 minutes, Cole Wenner, fed by Zach Ouladelhadjahmed, picked up his first goal of the season in the form of a shorthanded, empty-netter to move the Knights ahead 5-1. The score would remain through the final horn, cementing the Knights fifth-straight win, their 15th on the season.
A potent Wilkes-Barre/Scranton out-shot Connecticut 42-28, with Jared Stahel back-stopping the Knights defense with 27 saves in his 7th win of the year. With a one-point lead on fourth place in the South Conference, the Knights will look for their sixth-consecutive victory tomorrow morning with a rematch against the Oilers set for 10:30 am EST. Tune in at hockeytv.com, follow along on Knights social media, or come to the Revolution Ice Centre to watch the game in person, free of charge!